Find meaningful ways to celebrate the holidays
Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, Human Development Specialist, Jackson County, University of Missouri Extension
The holidays are a good opportunity to share lessons in kindness, generosity, compassion and faith with children. Making the season more about creating memories and traditions instead of getting gifts can help make a more meaningful Christmas. Here are a few tips to build meaningful holidays with your children.
- Focus on family traditions. Share the traditions your family loves the most and explore ways to continue on some holiday traditions as a family. If you don’t have family traditions for holiday celebrations, start your new holiday traditions by involving everyone in your family. These traditions will teach children that they are part of the family and become good memories for generations.
- Involve your children in giving gifts. Have your children help make homemade gifts to learn the joy and value of making gifts for others. This can become one of your family traditions that adds meaning to gift giving. This gift making experience will help children learn to care for others and make the holidays more worthwhile.
- Teach children to give of themselves. Volunteering as a family
can teach children about helping those in need, and that giving
time and compassion is more worthwhile than receiving gifts.
Children can also learn the meaning of generosity and giving.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Preparing Christmas dinners for the needy at a local church, homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
- Visiting with or giving homemade gifts to nursing home residents to brighten holiday spirits.
- Bringing homemade cookies or meals to needy families or the elderly.
- Helping elderly neighbors wrap gifts or decorate.
- Donating items to a food, coat or toy drive.
Last Updated 12/13/2010